6 Bridesmaid Disasters & How to Solve Them

bridesmaidsThe time leading up to your wedding can be filled with joy, but it can also be incredibly stressful. Not just for the bride, of course, but for her bridesmaids, who have quite the list of responsibilities of their own. Unfortunately, no matter how close you are to these women you've asked to stand up for you, it's possible the Big Day could take a toll on your relationship. Or lead to an unexpected snafu, misunderstanding, or argument.

Have no fear! Here, how a bride can bandage up six of the most gut-churning, but common bridesmaid conundrums ...

  1. You need to dismiss a bridesmaid. Hopefully, you need to do this not because you're a total Bridezilla, but because something else -- something significant happened to make you change your mind on the road to "I do." Like you were BFFs and drifted far apart. Erica Manney of YouShouldOnlyKnow.com notes, "Almost all of the time, kicking out a bridesmaid means the friendship is over. Think about that seriously before you make that decision. Is this something you want to end the friendship over?" If yes, then maybe it really is best that you have that tough conversation.
  2. Your bridesmaid can't fulfill her financial obligations. Sometimes, brides handle this by helping out, which can be completely called for, like when your bridesmaid is a college student subsisting on loans! (That description fit my little sister, who was my Maid of Honor. I obviously had no problem footing the bill for her dress and various other expenses!) But if you aren't willing or able to cover her costs, it may be grounds for dismissal. But in that case, according to Manney, "You should be gracious about this. You may be able to do this with some class and dignity for both of you, and remain great friends. Consider another role within your wedding that would make your great friend feel cherished."
  3. Your bridesmaid quits. Whether it's because she also suffered from #2 and didn't want to ask for help, was fed up with your Bridezilla ways, or just wasn't that into your nuptials, bridesmaids have been known to bail. My advice to a friend who recently grappled with this: Whether the bridesmaid didn't want to be there or legitimately couldn't make it work, you're better off just making like Adele Dazeem and letting go. What bride wants someone who feels forced or pained to stand beside them anyway? Ick, no thanks! Better to just let the person be a guest, or depending on how they peaced out, maybe just go your separate ways, at least for the wedding day.
  4. Your bridesmaid hates the dress you picked. Unfortunately, the answer for this all too common one is pretty much ... that's too bad. There's only so much negotiation that can be done over satin vs. cotton, David's Bridal vs. Modcloth vs. J. Crew. Of course it's unreasonable to expect a friend to squeeze into a dress that doesn't fit them at all or is completely unflattering, but I'd like to think most brides consider their friends' shapes and comfort level, right?  And ultimately, the bride is the one making the executive decision about the bridesmaid dresses -- lest the topic turn into a neverending topic of debate. And maids just gotta do as Tim Gunn would say and ... make it work!
  5. Your bridesmaid has a new boyfriend every week, and you don't want to give her a +1. If someone has gone to all the trouble to be a bridesmaid and has someone in their life who they feel is special enough to accompany them to your wedding, it seems only fair to be cool with that -- no matter how long they've been together or you'd guess they will be together.
  6. Your bridesmaid doesn't want to cover up her tattoos.
    When you ask a woman to be your bridesmaid, you're asking a human being -- in all her real, flawed, beautiful glory -- to be by your side. That pretty much means sucking it up and dealing with any of her physical characteristics you may not be wild about, like tattoos or piercings. As Manney points out, "Your friends and loved ones are not props or accessories for Your Special Day. They may gain weight, get pregnant, have a disfiguring accident, or get some sort of body adornment that you don’t like. If you chose them because they would look good in pictures, please remove them from your entourage, hire models and get yourself the number of a really good therapist. People are who they are. The photographs are there to remind you of the joy you had on that day, with the real people you love. Not the idealized versions you wish you had. Accept and love them for who they are." Amen!

What other bridesmaid conundrum have you had to deal with? Or did you experience as a bridesmaid? And how was it handled?


Image via 10corsocomo/Flickr



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nonmember avatar KalopaMom

I don't understand the tradition of bridesmaids having to foot the bill for the dress, shoes etc. If the bride chooses the outfit, she should pay for the dress, shoes, etc. Especially since bridesmaid outfits are RARELY ever worn again, to force someone to pay $200 or more for an outfit they know they will never wear again is horrible. Here in Hawaii most of us understand this and don't make our friends suffer for our choices.

SaphireH SaphireH

my bridesmaids will be in the same color of white dresses but i dont care about price it can be to what they can afford, dresses though will have a no tushy and no boobs showing rule but thats about it and i dont care if tattoos or piercings show because i have both

flowe... flowerfunleah

Having to let go of a bridesmaid happend to me when I was planning my wedding from 2007-2008. She was actually supposed to be my maid of honor and couldnt afford the bridesmaid dress I had chosen, but she also didnt want to have anything to do with the other MOH obligations, so I had to let her go and she was my best friend. 

But we're still best friends almost 7 years later and closer than ever actually! She's always regretted not being in my wedding but it's something we've both been able to move past what happened!

Blues... Blueshark77

I've done the bridesmaid bit too many times. There weren't too many Bridezilla moments, but one girl stands out. I was in both of her weddings, including one out of town so include traveling costs, plus went to her baby shower out of town as well. I have spent a couple thousand bucks on her events, but when my baby was born she sent me a used toy her child didn't use anymore. I don't like to keep a tally of things, but something like that really stands out. 


japan... japanmommy

Unexpected snafu makes no sense.

nonmember avatar Mommadeeder

I was once ditched from being a bridesmaid in a friends wedding, and I have had very limited contact with the friend since. She had a friend, who disapproved of the guy she was marrying. So, instead of having friend "A" serve as a bridesmaid, she asked me. A few months into,the whole planning process, friend "A" changes her mind and decides she likes the groom after all. The bride decided to kick me out and let her in. To say I was pissed would be an understatement. Good thing I hadn't paid for anything yet.

TheSi... TheSilence

Am I the only one who thinks brides should pay for bridesmaids dresses? I paid for all the dresses and the tux rentals at our wedding. I also paid for shoes and any meals we ate during planning.

Someone else, especially good friends, shouldn't have to foot the bill for my wedding.

Seanna Yeager

I have had to politely decline on being a bridemaid several times because of the expense. I couldn't travel to were the wedding was, bills always come first.

nonmember avatar sparklemama

Being a bridesmaid is completely overrated. If you are so self-absorbed that you are worrying about your friends' tattoos, dress, date to your wedding, etc., instead of just being happy that they are right next to you on your wedding day, you should just not have any bridesmaids. The expected duties, expenses, etc. are ridiculous.

nonmember avatar BostonBob

What is the deal with MATCHING DRESSES anyway? Any other event, if two women wore the same dress they'd be horrified.

My wife's three bridesmaids all wore their own nice dresses in different colors. She just told them "Pick something nice". It turned out great. They all looked great, and no one shelled out huge $$$ for a one-time use dress.

"You can wear it again!" Sure, to a Halloween party.

@TheSilence...I totally agree!

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